Build a Bowl Lathe & Learn to Turn (4 days/5 days with forging)

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Build a Lathe & Learn to Turn
(with forge day option)

Build an historic Viking style bowl turning lathe
Locally sourced kiln dried hard and softwoods
Green Wood working
Bowl turning skills
Go home ready to continue your turning journey

Tools, materials, refreshments and lunches provided.

Time: 09:00 – 17:00 (flexible finish time required)

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Over the course of the four or five days of this workshop you will build your very own bowl turning lathe to take home and spend some time learning to turn beautiful, functional wooden bowls. Adults only, or over 16 when accompanied by a paying adult.

This workshop will be limited to 4 participants.

The workshop will focus specifically on the following areas:

  • The skills required to build your own historic Viking style bowl turning lathe
  • The different types of lathe used for turning
  • Suitable British timbers for bowl turning
  • Selecting appropriate sections of a log for bowl turning
  • Roughing out a bowl ‘blank’ using an axe
  • Safe and effective axe technique
  • Mounting the blank on the lathe ready for turning
  • Using home made hook tools to turn your first bowl
  • Trimming up, drying and finishing your bowl

You will be constructing your new lathe out of a mix of locally sourced, kiln dried hard and softwoods, and from recently felled local greenwood. We choose to use a mix of kiln dried and green timber to minimise the amount of movement or shrinkage in the finished lathe, this keeps everything nice and tight and square and allows for a less frustrating turning experience.

There will be lots of time for you to develop and practise new skills, both joinery/construction skills and bowl turning skills. Whilst the main focus of the workshop will be about process and safe technique, you should still look forward to producing at least the first bowl off your new lathe to take home with you at the end of the four or five days. This will be a perfect sized bowl for you to eat your breakfast out of every morning, or your hot soup at lunch or your curry at the end of the day! By the end of this workshop you should feel confident to be able to continue your turning journey at home on your new lathe.

This is quite a physically and mentally demanding workshop. There will be plenty of breaks and stops to talk about process and technique but a reasonable level of fitness is required to make sure you get the most out of the four days.

Please remember that your new lathe, although transportable, is a serious piece of kit – you will not be able to take it home with you if you are planning to travel by public transport! This should not discourage you from attending though, there are options available should you need them but you will need to discuss this with us beforehand.

To be held in our farmhouse workshop in Dundraw, Cumbria.

All tools and materials are provided but you may bring your own if you have them and we can advise on their suitability. There is a materials charge of approximately £150 included in the price of the workshop. This covers absolutely all materials required to complete your lathe, including hand forged turning centres.

Turning hook tools are provided for use during the workshop but are NOT included within the workshop cost – these may be made available for participants to purchase at the end of the workshop.

ALTERNATIVELY…It is possible to tag a fifth day on to the end of the workshop where participants can learn to forge their own hook tools.  If you wish to add this option the additional day is charged at £150. This includes all steel and gas for forging, and of course refreshments and lunch.  This means that participants would be able to go away 100% ready to carry on turning with a couple of tools that they have made themselves.

Time: 09:00 – 17:00 on each of the days (with a flexible finish time depending upon progress).

All refreshments and lunches provided for the duration of the workshop.

Further information will be sent via email upon confirmation of booking.

Workshop bookings are non refundable.

Workshop dates cannot be transferred once booked.

Available dates: By arrangement only – please contact to discuss.


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